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Counseling and Human Development


Background: The objective of this study is to test Davidson’s, and Heller and Nitschke’s models stating cortical activity in adolescents to be a marker for increased risk for depression.

Methods: Alpha activity was measured in 80 adolescents from medial-frontal (F3/4), lateral-frontal (F7/8), and medial-parietal (P3/4) electrodes, as well as self-reported depression and anxiety twice within 12 months. Stepwise hierarchical regression analyses with anxiety as covariate were calculated with alpha asymmetry as predicting variable and depression as target variable and vice versa.

Results: Independent of whether anxiety was used as covariate or not, frontal and parietal alpha asymmetry predict depression, but depression did not predict alpha activity.

Conclusions: The results partially support both models and conclusions drawn by studies with remitted depressed subjects. However, it remains unclear if anxious arousal has a partial influence on the predictive association between alpha activity and depression.


© 2008. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license

The final published version can be found here:

Original Publication Information

Pössel, Patrick, Hanna Lo, Anne Fritz and Simone Seemann. "A Longitudinal Study of Cortical EEG Activity in Adolescents." 2008. Biological Psychology 78(2): 173-178.